Naveen Wilson Rebello, SVD
A Change of Direction!
I grew up close to the church where my father was the sacristan and catechist, so it was natural for me to be involved in many church activities. When I was nine years old, Divine Word Missionary priests and Brothers in my parish staged a Gospel program. It enkindled in me the hope of becoming a missionary priest.
During my high school years, I was contacted by many vocation directors who sent me letters and magazines. Then I attended a seminary weekend at Divine Word Seminary in Kirem, India. It was here that I first witnessed the community life, hospitality and service of the Divine Word Missionaries. Since my parents and brothers were all teachers, I thought that everyone assumed that I, too, would become a teacher. I was a little uneasy about talking to my family about my desire to become a missionary priest. But I spoke to my parish priest, and he spoke to my relatives, explaining to them my desire to attend Divine Word Seminary. I have been in the seminary now for nine years, and Divine Word Missionaries has become like a family to me.
God has spoken through various people in my life, and He has invited me to start on a new voyage towards an unknown destiny, not alone but with Him. I have realized this call in sometimes little and seemingly insignificant ways. The formation at Divine Word Seminary has shaped my life in accordance with the charism and traditions of the community, namely, internationality, adjustability and adaptability. I have learned to live among people of different cultures, languages, social backgrounds and temperaments, and I have grown to appreciate their way of life.
As a seminarian, I cannot ignore and neglect the sacrifices made by our benefactors. The prayerful support and financial assistance of these “Good Samaritans,” whom I scarcely know, instills in me spirits of sacrifice and the need to pray for generous friends. May God bless the families of all these “co-missionaries” who accompany me on my journey.